An Open Letter to Buzz Bissinger
In this month’s GQ, Buzz Bissinger confessed that he’s a shopaholic. Sean Macaulay on what this means for his tough-guy, sports-writing hero.
You are the most famous tough guy sports writer of your generation. The pint-sized pitbull of in-you-face sports talk. The guy who tells it like it is. “Big fat idiot! … It’s pathetic! … Show up with a semi-automatic and pop him!” Your twitter style is even more no-nonsense. “You idiotf*cks … Get a life … F*ck yourselves. Nobody comes close to what I write.”
After yesterday, that is one sentence you won’t need to repeat. In this month’s edition of GQ, you came out as a fashion-crazed shopaholic who’s secretly burned through $638,412 on designer clothes and shoes. And not just any kind of designer outfits, but the most eye-wateringly go-for-it outfits known to man, gay or straight or in transition.
Thigh-high leather boots… Gucci ostrich skin leather jackets… Horizontally striped posing briefs… More leather jackets...
How did we miss this double life? We followed your every word, yet we had no idea you had morphed into the fashion victim love child of Imelda Marcos and Andrew Dice Clay, on poppers.
We can only say that love is blind. Like your fallen hero, Lance Armstrong, whom you tenaciously supported until you were crushed by the truth, the warning signs were all there. All that social media feuding you did. All those beeped F-bombs on your radio show. The increasingly shadowy members of your inner circle — that stream of delivery men with mystery packages, that fiery fashion stylist from Iran…
The truth is we didn’t want to face the truth. You were the poet laureate of high school football. The man who wrote about hulking linebackers nibbling melon in the Texas dusk.
Even as the evidence kept piling up, we just didn’t want to face it.
Skull rings… “Bolero-style” jackets… Gold-ripped Narco-pimp cowboy boots… Five-inch heels and stretch leather leggings that “sculpted” your lower body… (From Friday Night Lights to Friday Night Tights… What a journey.) Dungeon-chic S&M unitards… (You’d be the envy of the wasteland in Mad Max.) Yet more leather jackets. And boots. And belts. And hats. And scarves. And gloves. 115 fifteen pairs of them…
And then came the final bell-tolling moment of truth: When someone compared you to Bon Jovi, you took it as a compliment.
There was no more denying it. Even we had to admit something was wrong. You had the spending plan of Louis XIV on meth and, kind of impressively, the fashion sense too.
The good news is that there is help. You have fully and contritely admitted the problem, which is more than Lance could manage. Plus if anyone has the grit and tenacity to complete the long road back to fashion abstinence, it’s you. So all the best, Buzz, and see you back at Mens' Warehouse soon.